Issue 128 – Take a Chance

Always wanted to work in the film industry but were afraid to try? Tara Brady talks to a few brave souls who followed their hearts and filled their pockets. Kind of.

Take a chance

We are told, over and over and over again, that film is the new gold, a copper-fastened sector for topsy-turvy financial times. You may have lost your job, your home and your sit-in lawnmower but take heart, if it’s recession for you then a Golden Age for cinema can’t be very far behind.

Just look at those lucky folks back in the thirties. When they weren’t driving across America with only cardboard boxes and breast milk for sustenance, they were rolling in the aisles as the Marx Brothers went to the races.

The mighty post-classical seventies film furthers this idea – the rule that says movies are always at their very best when the going is getting tough. In the tea-leaf and animal innards world of box-office boffins, Peter Biskind’s favourite historical stomping ground proves the maxim: poor people = better movies = cha-ching.

Is it a gross unscientific over-simplification? Too right. Is it way off the mark? Hell, no. True, some may take issue with the ‘better movies’ part of the equation; only a certified lunatic might have glanced at this year’s coterie of lacklustre Oscar® contenders and felt moved to run down the street shouting ‘I have seen the future of cinema’. On the other hand, can any 18-month period featuring films like There Will Be Blood, WALL-E and Let the Right One In not represent some sort of Golden Age?

Indie pay dirt
Even a novice film geek could tell you that interesting things are afoot. Despite the collective wail at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Fox Searchlight have hit pay dirt with smaller, smarter indie-schmindie smashes such as Juno, Once and Slumdog Millionaire. Repertory cinema, which as recently as 2006 was figuratively dying in a puddle of its own monochrome sick, is currently enjoying a mini-boom. Indeed, last year Hibernian film buffs enjoyed more choice than ever with a record number of theatrical releases, 33% of which were foreign-language titles.

The full article is printed in Film Ireland 128